The decision to construct a floating pontoon in Warrnambool's Merri River where "near threatened" platypus live has been labelled as "hypocritical".
Warrnambool City councillor Peter Hulin called for works to be halted until an environmental study was completed, and he wants to see it moved further along the river closer to Wollaston Bridge.
"Last week we had a decision made in our council to put infrastructure into a platypus colony and we don't have a problem with that," Cr Hulin told Monday's council meeting.
He said the infrastructure would lead to platypus being tangled and killed in fishing wire.
Cr Hulin raised the issue during a 40-minute debate on climate change which ended with a 6-1 vote declaring a climate emergency.
He said the council talked of a climate emergency, yet did the opposite. "It's hypocrisy at its greatest," he said. Cr Hulin said no environmental plan had been done on placing a pontoon in the area where at least five platypus lived.
He said the council's own annual report, which was also adopted on Monday night, listed the platypus as "near threatened" and was "likely to become endangered in the near future".
The council and the MAD for the Merri group are about to begin a joint study to collect platypus DNA to understand their habits.
Cr Hulin, who owns but is selling a property that backs on to the platypus sanctuary, said that for the past decade he and his neighbours had worked to revegetate the area.
He said when he first heard about the council being given about $72,000 for the fishing pontoon, he thought it was fantastic. However, he said that at no point did he think it would go at the end of Queens Road in the platypus sanctuary because he'd never been given a document with the exact location.
After returning from an overseas trip, he noticed works had started and said he "nearly had a breakdown". "I couldn't believe what they were doing," he said.
Cr Hulin said that at a meeting last Monday it was decided that the works should proceed despite them having been halted until the Merri River precinct plan, which would look at environmental issues, was completed. He said he had been told that "it's gone too far, it can't be stopped".
Australian Platypus Conservancy biologist Geoff Williams has written to Cr Hulin expressing concerns about the impact of fishing on platypus, and recommended the pontoon not proceed without full consideration of alternative sites and an environmental impact statement done into the impact on platypus.